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A comparison of poly-ethylene-glycol-coated and uncoated gold nanoparticle-mediated hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress in Sprague Dawley rats

Authors Patlolla AK, Kumari SA, Tchounwou PB

Received 31 August 2018

Accepted for publication 10 November 2018

Published 15 January 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 639—647


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Govarthanan Muthusamy

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster

Video abstract presented by Anita K Patlolla

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Anita K Patlolla,1,2 S Anitha Kumari,3 Paul B Tchounwou1,2

1NIH-RCMI Center for Environmental Health, College of Science Engineering and Technology, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS, 39217, USA; 2Department of Biology, CSET, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS, 39217, USA; 3Department of Zoology, University College for Women, Koti, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Background: Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) and their functional derivatives are of great interest because of their many biomedical applications. GNPs are increasingly being incorporated into new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in medicine. Consequently, there has been a strong push to fully understand their interactions with blood components. The agglomeration of cells reflects the interaction of nanoparticles with blood components.
Methods: The main aim of this study was to compare the effects of poly-ethylene-glycol (PEG)-oated and uncoated GNPs on the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS); on the actions of distinct hepatotoxicity biomarkers such as alanine (ALT) and aspartate (AST) aminotransferases, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP); and on the histology of liver tissues in the rat model. Four distinct doses of PEG-coated and uncoated GNPs (12.5, 25, 50, and 100 µg/kg body weight) were used. Each group consisted of three rats receiving an oral administration of PEG-coated and uncoated GNPs for 5 days with one dose per 24 hours. The control group consisted of three rats that received deionized water. Twenty-four hours after the last treatment, samples were collected following standard procedures.
Results: PEG-coated and uncoated GNPs enhanced the generation of ROS and the activity of serum aminotransferases (ALT/AST) and ALPs relative to the negative control. A liver histology assessment of GNP-exposed rats revealed statistically significant responses in the variation of the morphologies of tissues relative to those of the negative control. Nonetheless, uncoated GNPs demonstrated enhanced hepatotoxic outcomes relative to those of PEG-coated GNPs. The results demonstrated that both GNPs may be able to promote hepatotoxicity in Sprague Dawley rats through mechanisms of oxidative stress. However, uncoated GNPs have more harmful effects than PEG-coated GNPs relative to the negative control.
Conclusion: Taken together, the results of this study indicate that PEG-coated GNPs may be safer to use in nanomedicinal applications than uncoated GNPs. However, more studies must be performed to confirm the outcomes of PEGylation.

Keywords: serum aminotransferases, polyethylene glycol coated gold nanoparticles, uncoated gold nanoparticles, hepatotoxicity, oxidative stress

Corrigendum for this paper has been published

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